Thursday, 1 February 2018

Top 30 Men... and Top 10 Women

Yeoh Li Tian continues to edge his way up to passing the magical 2500 mark but there is no one else remotely close to his level.

His predecessor as undisputed Malaysian No. 1, Mas Hafizulhelmi, has been at this 2300+ level for sometime now while juggling work and family commitments and so is not likely to turn back the clock. Yet he remains easily a permanent and valuable member of national teams. 

Young players have been long on the rise but the jury is still out as to whether they will be able to make the jump and of these, National Champion Wong Yinn Long has most impressed.

Perhaps this year might be the chance for several senior players who have narrowly missed out on national team selection and given the unprecedented shameful 134th placing at the Baku Olympaid two years ago, it is unlikely there will be tampering in the qualification process again.  

Our No. 1 girl is Tan Li Ting and she is also ranked 19th amongst the men (more correctly is perhaps to call it the combined list) and the gap between her and a resurgent Alia Anin Azwa Bakri is almost 100 points!

National teams have always had the top four playing when all available and while not likely to change, the competition for the fifth spot is now very intense and that might also shake up the rest of the regulars who have practically taken their places for granted.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Malaysian FIDE Trainers Directory

This is a particularly important announcement for our local chess community given so many do chess coaching for a living and such titles are important to them.

Sadly many are inactive (suspended in FIDE terms) and/or in arrears of licence fees.

I would encourage those who feel these titles are still important to them to immediately make payment.

MCF's upside is we now have a directory of official FIDE licenced trainers!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Back To Doing MCF Work

For the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF), a very positive outcome from the Asian Summit held in UAE last December was significant help from the Asian Chess Federation with a grant given towards helping us organise a FIDE Arbiter Seminar.

This is also going to be an arbiter refresher course for existing arbiters and which is very timely indeed given the changes of the laws of chess and some marked trends which are affecting regulations.

With this MCF has also published a directory of our current FIDE Arbiters and introduced a new process for qualified individuals to apply to become National Arbiters.

It is well known that when Abd Hamid Majid left as MCF Secretary many years ago, so did all the assets and in Gregory Lau's time, new assets never really did seem to accumulate.

So I was very grateful to Hisham Al-Taher, General Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation, for agreeing to give us 100 chess clocks, 50 of which I was able to carry back with me, and another 50 which will be brought over by Casto Abundo Jr, Executive Director of the Asian Chess Federation, when he comes over to conduct the FIDE Arbiter Seminar.

So much of Malaysian chess (as in most of the rest of the world) revolves around kids who play chess and with the Asian Youth Championships in neighbouring Thailand in April, it was matter of urgency to let our community know how they could participate.

The solution was of course to open it up to all, the only caveat being that their respective state chess associations needed to endorse their participation.

Of course there was still an administrative fee charged by MCF - we are all volunteers and while we do not charge for time, surely some of the expenses incurred by the Secretariat as a whole should be subsidised - and RM 100 is just half of the amount of  what was previously asked.

What is the other question now being asked? Yes, it is how to qualify for the official place. Very simple indeed, just win your respective category at the coming National Youth Championships!